1. Why does CHANCEN eG need a selection procedure?

Our mission as the CHANCEN cooperative is to finance higher education in a fair and sustainable way with the Income Share Agreement (ISA), giving you the freedom to access education and shape your own career path irrespective of your financial background. This can be achieved through our solidarity model: After graduation, financially better-off members support those earning less. It might be surprising that applicants for the Income Share Agreement must additionally undergo a complex, multilevel selection procedure. This is due to several reasons. The most important one is our calculation model as the basis of the ISA.


The calculation model:

With the help of our calculation model, we can determine the contract terms for degree courses, bootcamps and training programmes at our partner institutions. This way we can ensure that the repayment sum of all students we have funded will be high enough to make the funding of future generations studies possible and to cover ongoing expenses of the CHANCEN eG. At the same time, we strive after being the ISA provider with the fairest conditions. For the calculation of conditions, we thus determine risk factors such as the percentages of dropout from all courses or salary expectations, through an extensive and multidimensional analysis of the labour market. The fairness and stability of our model strongly depend on the quality and accuracy of the estimations made in the model. It is for this reason that we decided to develop a selection procedure, that is not selecting the “best” but providing an accurate estimation of risk and can serve as a basis for the financing decision. This way, we can ensure a balance between securing our model and following our mission to offer the ISA to the greatest possible number of applicants.

2. What is the selection procedure based on?

The most important values in developing our procedure have been fairness and accuracy. We don’t want to rely on subjective judgements or the “gut feeling” of a single person regarding such an important financial decision for the applicants. Therefore, we chose a scientific procedure and conceptualised it on the basis of recent standards from psychological aptitude diagnostics and pedagogical psychology. Most importantly, we implemented a structured and standardized procedure, which is meant to ensure equal opportunities for every applicant. Among suitable selection criteria, we also tried to identify factors, that could inadvertently discriminate be a disadvantage for applicants in the selection procedure. We are striving to eliminate such biases from the procedure. In addition, we continuously try to control potentially influencing variables in the procedure and in the statistical evaluation of the selection process. The selection criteria were mainly derived from recent research results. Moreover, for some partner institutions, we carry out “requirement analyses” with the help of their lecturers, students and admission teams.


Why is a standardised and semi-structured approach appropriate?

The standardisation of a selection procedure ensures that every applicant passes through the same process and is therefore undergoing the same fair evaluation. According to studies, (e.g. Hell et al., 2007; Hell et al., 2010; Huffcutt et al., 2013) standardised procedures make better and more precise predictions than procedures with a low standardisation. Standardisation can be implemented in different areas: the whole process, the selection interview or the decision-making. Concerning the interview, the degree of standardisation specifies how strictly the wording and the order of questions are prescribed and how flexible the interviewer is in deviating from that. The evaluation can also happen in a standardised form, with the help of a uniform scale. A standardised decision making is fulfilled when the collected information of different applicants is evaluated in the same way, for example, in the form of predetermined decision rules (e.g when “x” points are achieved in question A, then question B and C together must have at least the number of points “y”). In a semi-structured procedure like ours, an interview guideline is used. The order of questions and potential deeper questions are at the interviewer’s discretion. This way, the selection procedure stays comparable, but still allows a natural flow of conversation and a pleasant atmosphere which is benefitting the applicants’ satisfaction with the interview.

3. What do we focus on during the procedure?

Formal criteria

Funding with the ISA is only possible if applicants meet certain a formal eligibility criteria. These conditions vary according to degree course and type of educational training. As mentioned before, the reason for this lies in the calculation model and the calculated prognoses of income. Moreover, we underly legal limitations. With our subsidiary CHANCEN International in Rwanda we however already contribute by giving access to education beyond national borders.

Selection criteria

As an important suitability criteria, we defined motivation, qualification and informedness as well as a fit with our solidarity model. These criteria are captured with several subdimensions, which are collected with the help of different questions. In our opinion, we have thus created the prerequisites for the most accurate and fair procedure possible. Please understand that in order to ensure the fairness and the quality of our procedure we can’t communicate any more detailed selection criteria. With this measure, we want to avoid that applicants are given an advantage by receiving advance information and (un-)consciously distorting our evaluation.

Question: “Did you already have the opportunity to take on management responsibility? Which situation was it? What experiences did you have?”

Target criterion, that is to be measured: Management experience
Diagnostic question, that is to be answered: “Does the applicant have relevant leadership experience and was he*she able to fill the leadership role well?”

1 – No relevant or no experience at all
2 –
3 – Gives simple examples (e.g. sports); essentially, came into leadership roles through the initiative of others; successful in the presented tasks; has learned more from that than the fact that leading role “is not so easy”
4 –
5 – Multiple experiences; shows success and joy at leadership role from others; has learned from this experience and has even derived certain leadership principles for herself/himself; knows and is willing to use effort and skill to lead others; is accepted by others in the leadership role

4. How is our Selection Process organised?

You can click on the part of the application process you are interested in to get further information.

1. Applicants can inform through broad information on our website.

2. After applying at the partner institution applicants apply via our web form.

The application is standardised, which means that no individual application documents are submitted. Instead, the applicants fill out our prescribed form. This way, we would like to ensure the impartiality of our interviewers in the financing interview. We don’t consider photos of our applicants or the neatness of the application documents. In the form, we only ask for relevant information, that gives us a first impression of the motivation and qualification of the applicants.

3. When the application is complete and includes all the necessary documents, applicants can schedule an appointment for a financing interview. Here we talk about the information given in the application documents in-depth and focus on our predefined selection criteria. The interview is conducted on behalf of a semi-structured interview guideline. The following evaluation is standardised and carried out on a 5-point rating scale based on behaviour. Our interviewers receive specific in-house training by experts in how to use the guidelines. Moreover, they are trained to take psychological biases that can arise in conversations into account.

4. For the evaluation of the financing interview, we use a standardised evaluation guideline. The collected data undergo a calculatory comparison. When a necessary score is reached, the applicants will be accepted by us. If in exceptional cases there are reasons that the evaluation was biased by individual factors, an expert group will decide about the further proceeding together with the interviewer. This can be a second interview for reconsidering the result or a direct acceptance or rejection.

A rejection decision is based on the scientific selection process of CHANCEN eG. So that no details about our selection process are made public, we cannot give any individual reasons for rejection. A rejection on our part is to be understood as a snapshot in any case and applicants have the opportunity to reapply to us 3 months after rejection.

5. In the case of an acceptance decision, the next step is the conclusion of the contract.

6. If a partnership with the education partner is already existing, a purchase and assignment agreement between the CHANCEN eG and the institution is signed.

Why do we make our final decision with the help of scores?

Studies have shown that statistical decision-making outmatches the “clinical” (subjective evaluation of single persons) decision-making (e.g. Grove et al., 2000; Ægisdóttir et al., 2006; Schmidt-Atzert & Amelang, 2012). The statistical decision-making leans on statistical models and its inherent data. Our process of decision-making is orientated on this principle. We developed a complex decision algorithm that derives from our research results and expert estimations. This way, we can ensure that more important dimensions of our evaluation will be weighted accordingly and that there is no bias towards less important characteristics as would be the case if we only added up the single question scores. Moreover, we prevent the interviewer from being “blended” by single characteristics and therefore neglecting more important dimensions. Instead, we set the dimensions in ratio and also consider relations between the dimensions. We are aware that such a complex model can only partially depict reality. However, we hope to take account of the complexity of aptitude criteria and ensure the highest possible fairness.

5. How do we ensure the quality of our Selection Procedure?

To ensure the quality of our selection procedure, we conduct qualitative surveys among our applicants and statistical investigations of our interview guideline. For this, we need to collect different data of sufficient scope. The satisfaction of our applicants regarding the process is examined with the help of a questionnaire after the interview. For the review of the interview guideline, we use statistical analyses such as item analyses, correlation analyses, group comparisons and other methods. Our focus lies in proving the selection criteria as significant and precise. Moreover, we want to make sure that certain target groups won’t be discriminated by our procedure. Therefore, we collect applicants’ data in regard to socio-economical background, biological sex and migrant background. These sets of data are of course not considered in the financing decision, they simply ensure the quality of our procedure.

  • Ægisdóttir, S., White, M. J., Spengler, P. M., Maugherman, A. S., Anderson, L. A., Cook, R. S., … & Rush, J. D. (2006). The meta-analysis of clinical judgment project: Fifty-six years of accumulated research on clinical versus statistical prediction. The Counseling Psychologist34(3), 341-382.

  • Grove, W. M., Zald, D. H., Lebow, B. S., Snitz, B. E., & Nelson, C. (2000). Clinical versus mechanical prediction: a meta-analysis. Psychological assessment12(1), 19.

  • Hell, Benedikt & Schuler, Heinz. (2010). Auswahlgespräche: Prognosekraft und Strategien zur Qualitätssteigerung (Selection interviews: Predictive validity and strategies for quality improvement).

  • Hell, B., Trapmann, S., Weigand, S., & Schuler, H. (2007). Die Validität von Auswahlgesprächen im Rahmen der Hochschulzulassung-eine Metaanalyse. Psychologische Rundschau58(2), 93-102.

  • Huffcutt, A. I., Culbertson, S. S., & Weyhrauch, W. S. (2013). Employment interview reliability: New meta‐analytic estimates by structure and format. International Journal of Selection and Assessment21(3), 264-276.

  • Schmidt-Atzert, L., & Amelang, M. (2012). Psychologische Diagnostik (Lehrbuch mit Online-Materialien), S. 390-396. Springer Science & Business Media


Nathalie Hubschneider

Student & Alumni Services